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30 Days of Night: Dark Days

by

Jeff Nelson

When it comes to the more exciting scene, 30 Days of Night: Dark Days is entertaining.

30 Days of Night: Dark Days
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The fads in cinema seem to be getting a bit out of control. When certain sub-genres receive their peak of interest by audiences, the film studios release one after another. The same concept being recycled eventually gets stale. Instead of moving along to another sub-genre, these studios try to tweak concepts. The vampire sub-category of films definitely has a fan base. However, these movies aren't as we remember them. Instead of trying to suck blood and kill people, they sparkle and fall in love in a PG-13 affair. This is the primary reason why I have avoided films with vampires and didn't feed into the craze. I miss the days where these creatures were vicious, brutal, and ugly. The first 30 Days of Night is one of the few modern vampire films that executed the concept correctly. With its success, a sequel known as 30 Days of Night: Dark Days started production.

After Stella's ordeal in Barrow, Alaska, she grieves her dead husband as she craves revenge. With the aid of some vampire hunters, Stella travels to Los Angeles to stalk Lilith, the dangerous queen vampire responsible for the attack on Barrow. The plot is exactly as it appears. Nothing more, nothing less. It's a simple revenge flick, but with vampires thrown into the mix. This screenplay lacks almost everything that made the first 30 Days of Night so enjoyable. The setting of Alaska in 30 days of constant darkness is gone. None of the characters are likable and are given nothing more than paper thin personalities. Even though Stella was a role the audience could follow in the first one, she lost everything that made her interesting. Each and every horror flick cliché is present and stands out like a sore thumb. The dialogue is often unintentionally laughable. There are twists thrown into the mix, but none of them are surprising. Viewers will see each one coming from miles away. I'm surprised that this screenplay even received the greenlight to be made. No wonder why 30 Days of Night: Dark Days was given nothing but a direct-to-video release.

Stella was the only survivor with the vampire invasion of Barrow. I'm sure that the actress, Melissa George, read the script and decided to stay far away from this one. That was a very smart decision on her part. The only character returning from the first film is being played by a new actress. Kiele Sanchez replaces George as Stella. She has a few moments where she delivers an acceptable performance, but the dialogue is so horrid that I found it hard to take her serious. Sanchez took the role a bit too seriously for a film with this type of script. The rest of the cast is even worse than Sanchez. They try way too hard and utterly fail.

Despite the poor quality of the screenplay and the disappointing acting, the visuals come through strong. There are quite a few action sequences were the set becomes a complete bloodbath. When it comes to the more exciting scene, 30 Days of Night: Dark Days is entertaining. This furthermore proves that this is nothing more and nothing less than a popcorn flick. The technical side of the movie is quite impressive. The audio was certainly mixed well. The surround channels are active constantly and the subwoofer is given a workout. Some of the bass comes across as a little muddy at times, but stays clean and deep for a majority of the running time. The visuals are perhaps the strongest asset the movie has.

I didn't expect greatness from 30 Days of Night: Dark Days. However, it could have been much worse. The script and acting are both unsatisfactory while the visuals are decent. This sequel was unnecessary, but there are much worse direct-to-video releases out there. It's entertaining despite the fact that it contains every cliché imaginable. Keep your expectations very low and you just might find yourself entertained. Fans of the first 30 Days of Night will be disappointed since this sequel doesn't come close to the quality of the first one. 30 Days of Night: Dark Days is below average and seems to be missing what made the first one a good vampire film. It would be wise to act like this never existed and simply enjoy its predecessor.

My Rating = Two

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